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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    US prosecutors probe Hyundai, Kia vehicle recallsUS prosecutors probe Hyundai, Kia vehicle recalls US prosecutors are investigating if Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors’ vehicle recalls over engine defects were conducted properly, according to a person with knowledge of the matter and documents reviewed by Reuters.

    The South Korean firms, together the world’s No.5 automaker, recalled nearly 1.7 million vehicles in 2015 and 2017 in the United States in one of their biggest recalls in the country, citing an engine failure that increases the risk of a crash.

    The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), part of the US Department of Justice (DoJ), has launched the investigation, the source said, asking not to be identified as the matter is confidential.

    The DoJ is coordinating with the US transport regulator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on the investigation, the source added.

    The SDNY probe is in addition to an ongoing investigation by NHTSA into whether the Hyundai and Kia recalls covered enough vehicles and were conducted in a timely manner.

    NHTSA told Reuters on Tuesday that it has “active” investigations into engine issues related to certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles. “These investigations are ongoing - no final conclusions have been reached.”

    Nicole Navas Oxman, a DoJ spokesperson, declined to comment.

    Hyundai also declined to comment on the SDNY probe.


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    Hamutenya eyes RDP presidencyHamutenya eyes RDP presidencyConfirms full slate of running mates Miriam Hamutenya's confirmation comes three weeks after the party officially opened the race for its leadership positions. Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) central committee member Miriam Hamutenya has announced her intention to vie for the position of president when the party holds its elective convention in December. “I have called you here to publicly confirm that I have accepted the requests to avail myself and contest as an RDP presidential candidate at the upcoming national convention,” Hamutenya said. The confirmation comes three weeks after the party officially opened the race for its leadership positions. On her slate, Hamutenya will be deputised by businessman and former parliamentarian Heiko Lucks. For the position of secretary-general, the Hamutenya-led slate will have Walter Ndakondja, who is a former school principal and education inspector, as its candidate. Sibuku Malumbano will be the slate's candidate for the deputy SG position.

    “This is a competent team with diverse experience and capable of leading the RDP to victory in the upcoming elections,” Hamutenya said.

    The Hamutenya-led team will face competition from a team led by current SG Mike Kavekotora.

    Kavekotora's running mates are businessman-cum-politician, Kennedy Shekupakela as vice-president and City of Windhoek councillor Brunhilde Cornelius as SG. Their deputy SG candidate is parliamentarian and long-serving RDP member Agnes Limbo.

    In her statement, Hamutenya indicated that should she become RDP president, her primary objective would be to unseat Swapo as the ruling party in government.

    “My main agenda with the support of this team and the entire RDP membership is to mobilise the masses of this country from one person to another to finally remove the Swapo government from power,” she said.

    According to her, after replacing “the Swapo-corrupted governing system”, they will implement a vibrant system free from corruption that will treat all people equally.

    Hamutenya also vowed to build and grow the RDP from within, with the view of reaching the objective of unseating the ruling party.


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  • 11/21/18--14:00: Company news in brief
  • Company news in briefCompany news in brief Pepkor expects profits to fall

    Retailer Pepkor Holdings Ltd, previously known as Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR), said on Tuesday its full-year earnings are expected to fall as much as 42% mainly due to a provision, sending its shares more than 11% lower.

    The clothing and furniture retailer said in May its earnings would be affected after it made a provision of 500 million rand (US$36 million) to cover a third-party debt acquired through using its Steinhoff International’s shares as collateral.

    An accounting scandal at Steinhoff that came to light in December last year wiped more than 90% off the company’s market value and forced it to sell assets.

    Pepkor said headline earnings per share for the year ended Sept. 30 are expected to be between 77.8 cents per share and 91.2 cents per share compared with 133.6 cents per share in the same period a year ago.

    Shares in Pepkor were down 5.87% to 17.33 rand


    eBay polishes plans for online second-hand luxury watch market

    Buying a second-hand luxury watch on eBay should get easier next year as the company gets better at checking that only genuine timepieces are sold on the online platform.

    “By the end of 2019, we look to have an entire suite of services available to all luxury watch sellers and buyers on the platform,” James Hendy, in charge of eBay’s authentication service for luxury goods, told Reuters in a recent interview.

    While new watch sales have grown more slowly, the used market has been boosted by younger consumers happy to buy online, prompting Cartier owner Richemont (CFR.S) to buy second-hand platform Watchfinder.co.uk.

    Hendy said eBay’s transaction volume of second-hand luxury watches would exceed US$1 billion in 2018. This compares to volumes of around 1.3 billion euros expected at German rival Chrono24 by its co-CEO and founder Tim Stracke.

    eBay allowed approved professional sellers, like Watchbox, to list timepieces on eBay with an “authenticity verified” tag in September by extending its eBay Authenticate program from handbags to luxury watches.


    The Italian plot to weaken Nutella

    Chocolate spread Nutella has long had pride of place on supermarket shelves but faces imminent attack from an Italian rival usually found in the pasta section.

    Italy’s Barilla, known internationally for its spaghetti and maccheroni packaged in blue boxes, is preparing to launch a chocolate spread next year in a major challenge to the brand that became a global phenomenon in the 1980s, sources said.

    Nutella, invented by family-owned firm Ferrero, is a favorite among sweet-toothed youngsters at home and abroad and generates annual sales of more than 2 billion euros (US$2.3 billion).

    With 54% of the global market for chocolate spreads, Nutella is the leader and faces virtually no major competition as a mass-marketed brand.

    Cokokrem of Turkey’s Yildiz Holding is the second most popular spread with a share of only 2 percent, according to market research provider Euromonitor International.

    But two sources familiar with Barilla’s plan say its new spread, Crema Pan di Stelle, seeks to exploit a perceived weakness of Nutella: its use of palm oil.


    Momentum to pay out death benefit to widow

    After strong public backlash, insurance provider Momentum announced on Tuesday afternoon that it would pay out the death benefit to Natalie Ganas, the widow of a slain policy holder Nathan Ganas.

    This comes after Momentum CEO Johann le Roux previously insisted that the company was right to reject the claim, due to the non-disclosure of a pre-existing health condition by Ganas.

    Momentum, in a statement published on Tuesday on its website, said the way in which the news of Natalie Ganas’ claim was received by the public "created the impression" that life insurers were looking for reasons to avoid payout.

    Ganas died from gunshot wounds in March 2017 when he was hijacked in his driveway. But the insurance firm initially refused to pay his R2.4 million policy claim after it was discovered that he suffered from high blood sugar levels.


    Bombardier leads bids for 999-car New Jersey rail deal

    Canada’s Bombardier Inc is the front-runner to win a New Jersey Transit (NJT) rail car contract, two sources familiar with the matter said, in a boost for the plane-and-train-maker’s North American business which has wrestled with delivery delays and has lost orders to rivals.

    The order for up to 999 multilevel passenger cars, including options, would be one of the largest contracts in years if most of the options are exercised, one of the sources said.

    Chinese state rail company CRRC Corp (601766.SS) was also vying for the contract. NJT ruled out the competing bid from the Chinese company, the sources said, although it was not immediately clear why.


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    Critical water-sharing deal inkedCritical water-sharing deal inked Namibia and Angola have renewed their inter-governmental cooperation regarding the shared resources of the Kunene River basin, with the first phase of the Kunene Transboundary Water Supply Project (KTWSP) having now been completed.

    The KTWSP is a Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) pilot project under its regional strategic water development programme, which includes the development and rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation infrastructure in southern Angola and northern Namibia for communities and towns along the border between the two countries.

    The project is being implemented by the 'Task Force Calueque', a committee of the permanent joint technical commission (PJTC) of the Kunene basin.

    It is being supported by KfW Development Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

    The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, in cooperation with UK Aid and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

    The KTWSP has two major components, which are water abstraction in Angola from the Calueque Dam and a conveyance system in Namibia and Angola. The conveyance system will transport sufficient water to the transfer point between Namibia and Angola at the Santa Clara border post opposite Oshikango.

    During the project inauguration and cooperation agreement signing at the Calueque Dam in the Cunene province of Angola on Monday, water minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the main aim of the project is to improve accessibility to a reliable, affordable and sustainable water supply.

    !Naruseb signed the agreement on behalf of Namibia, while his Angolan counterpart Joao Borges signed on behalf of his country.

    Over half of the Namibian population depend on water from the Kunene River and it's up to the two countries to ensure the equitable and reasonable allocation of water to both countries, !Naruseb said.

    “The climate change predictions in our region are leaning towards increased frequent drought and occasional floods, leaving us to compete more and more for water resources. Water infrastructure development is necessary to enhance water security and increase resilience against climate variability and climate change,” he said

    “We have always been calling for and promoting shared benefits from shared water resources. Today the Calueque communities are able to enjoy safe drinking water from the Kunene with easy access. Namibia has access to the same water for power generation and domestic and irrigation use from the Calueque.”

    According to the project scope, the Calueque Dam pump station and intake at the Kunene River in Angola have been upgraded and refurbished, including the electrical and mechanical equipment. A water treatment plant and distribution system have also been constructed to supply water to Angola's Calueque village. On the Namibian side the system is operated by NamWater, which supplies bulk water to industries, municipalities and the directorate of rural water supply in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, which supplies water to rural communities.

    On the Angolan side, a Cunene water utility has been established to operate and maintain the water supply and wastewater schemes in the province.

    Potable water from the Calueque treatment plant is being delivered to the Angolan towns of Santa Clara, Namacunde, Omupanda and the provincial capital Ondjiva, with distribution occurring at defined strategic points in each town, including house connections and public taps.

    The extension of the existing bulk supply system will require the upgrading of pump stations at Omakango, Omafo and Oshikango in Namibia, and the installation of a new main transmission pipe between the existing reservoir compound at Oshikango and the Namibian-Angolan border.

    The 40km pipeline between Santa Clara and Ondjiva, completed by the Angolan government in 2005, will be optimised for the provision of services in both directions. Electricity supply for the pump station at Santa Clara will also be provided.

    Basic sanitation measures are included for the towns of Santa Clara, Namacunde and Omupuanda. A new sewerage network and wastewater treatment plant will be designed and constructed at Ondjiva.

    This scheme will satisfy the basic requirements of the urban population in four towns in the short-term and is seen as an interim solution until the Xangongo Water Supply and Sanitation Scheme is in place.


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  • 11/21/18--14:00: RFA reveals business plan
  • RFA reveals business planRFA reveals business planRoad-users charged more The Road Fund Administration intends to increase its revenue streams to improve the country's road network. The Road Fund Administration (RFA) intends to inject about N$13 billion into the domestic economy over the next five years, of which 80%, or about N$10 billion, is to be invested in the road network.

    The RFA over the years has generated approximately N$2.3 billion annually from Namibian road users through fuel levies, vehicle registration and annual licence fees, mass distance charges, cross-border charges, abnormal load fees, domestic road-user permits and cross-border permits.

    About 80% of this revenue has traditionally been channelled to the Roads Authority (RA), which manages Namibia's road network.

    Other approved funding recipients are local authorities, NamPol, the National Road Safety Council and the RFA.

    RFA CEO Ali Ipinge said yesterday that the fund had seen a steady year-on-year growth of 7%, which is an increase of N$154 million.

    He was speaking at a meeting called to discuss the RFA's new five-year business plan (spanning 2019 to 2024).

    Notwithstanding, he said the RFA fell short of reaching its budget target by 1% due to the weak economy, which has adversely affected revenue from road-user charges.

    The RFA has over the years invested N$2.2 billion in the preservation and development of the country's road network.

    Ipinge said the condition of gravel roads has improved, while national tarred roads were resealed and roads managed better in general.

    He said while the RFA was committed to the effective preservation and rehabilitation of the national road network, as well as urban roads and streets, funding remains a challenge.

    He said funding gaps and other revenue solutions would be necessary to meet long-term targets.

    In the short term, the RFA has concluded a loan agreement with the German development bank, KfW, to the tune of N$482 million to co-finance the rehabilitation of the TR1/3 road between Keetmanshoop and Mariental. This is the 87.8-kilometre section between Tses and Gochas.

    To increase its revenue stream the RFA also increased road-user charges by 6.5% in May 2018.

    Ipinge said the RFA had made an additional budget commitment of N$150 million to the RA for the upgrading of gravel roads in particular.

    It has also implemented a technical assistance programme for local authorities and regional councils.

    In the long-run the RFA intends to increase financial support to local authorities and regional councils for urban and rural road maintenance by 40%.


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    Councillors keep boycott promiseCouncillors keep boycott promise KENYA KAMBOWE

    As promised, some Swapo councillors boycotted yesterday’s election of town council office-bearers and it’s now up to the party’s regional executive committee to decide the way forward.

    Councillors who spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday indicated they would be boycotting the election and swearing-in ceremony because of the uncertainty over whether mayor Verna Sinimbo will accompany her husband to India, where he is earmarked to take up an ambassador post.

    President Hage Geingob recently appointed the mayor’s husband, permanent secretary Gabriel Sinimbo, as the country’s new ambassador to India.

    The councillors also indicated they will defy Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa’s instruction that the leadership status quo remain at the town council.

    Yesterday, the office-bearers election had to be postponed after the councillors made good on their threats.

    Town council acting CEO Sikongo Haihambo said the election and swearing-in ceremony could not take place because of the boycott.

    “I had to inform the members of the public and staff members who showed up about the situation and that we hope to set aside another day to do it; as per the Local Authorities Act, the election and swearing-in ceremony must happen,” Haihambo said.

    Swapo Kavango East regional coordinator Otillie Shinduvi said they are aware of what transpired at the Rundu town council and that the matter will discussed on Friday by the party’s regional executive committee (REC) to decide the way forward.

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  • 11/21/18--14:00: Cheques to phase out in 2019
  • Cheques to phase out in 2019Cheques to phase out in 2019 The chairperson of the Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) Vetumbuavi Mungunda this week said that the industry will phase out cheques as a payment instrument by June 2019. “This means that Namibian banks will no longer be issuing and/or accepting any cheque after that date and that individual banks may have their own cut-off dates for cheques leading up to next year.”

    Mungunda, however, added that all banks have many alternative and more effective means to transact that are safer and cheaper which customers can make use of. “A large portion of cheque users are from specific industries that have cheque payments built into their business operations, many of which would benefit from moving away from cheque payments in terms of efficiency, and risk,” explained Mungunda. “One must consider the administration process, storage of physical paper that is required for cheques as well as the waiting period for a cheque to clear. This is in contrast with electronic payments which can be done in minutes, securely. Moving away from cheques as a means of receiving or making payment altogether can go a long way to reduce costs and increase convenience for customers and businesses alike, and I encourage customers to approach their individual banks for details,” said Mungunda.

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    Russia ramps up Africa scramble Russia ramps up Africa scramble JEMIMA BEUKES

    With the Russian embassy indicating its eagerness yesterday to see an increase in economic and other cooperation with Namibia and Africa at large, analysts say this new scramble creates an opportunity for the continent’s leaders to rectify past injustices.

    Economic professor Kakujaha-Matundu said Africa’s political elite had previously sold out Africans to foreign investors and countries, which plundered the continent without any accountability.

    “One could hope that this new wave can lead to a certain extend to the betterment of the African continent through transparent contracts with those foreign investors, as well as improved accountability from African governments. But you cannot pin your hopes too much on that because corruption is still widespread,” he said.

    The Russia embassy in Namibia announced yesterday it is planning a Russia-Africa summit next year, which will be preceded by a meeting with prominent businessmen, policy experts and public figures. This meeting is scheduled for May.

    According to press attaché Yury Tsvetkov the first edition of the Russia-Africa public forum was held in Moscow on 22 October and was attended by several African government officials.

    “The idea of this event was to discuss cooperation between Russia and Africa,” he said.

    He added the forum will be an annual event. Tsvetkov also highlighted they have submitted a draft agreement to the ministry of international relations on abolishing visas for Namibians who want to visit Russia.

    Potential in Africa

    Andrey Nastastin, minister-councillor for Russian embassy, admitted that after the fall of communism and the rise of a new Russia after 1990, the African part of its foreign policy was forgotten.

    “Things have changed, Africa is getting a lot of attention now and the continent has potential,” he said.

    He, however, rejected speculation that Russia is competing with China for Africa’s resources.

    “We just complement each other. If you take China, we do not compete with China, we work together, hand in hand. We are trying to be competitive, but in such areas where Russia has more advantages. Like China has its strong areas, and we have our own. We do not look at it as a competition for Africa,” he said.

    He added that economic cooperation with Namibia is a priority for the embassy and Russia is pushing to attract interest from the business community in that country.

    “We need to do more and realise it, especially the framework for the intergovernmental relations. There are three working groups on fisheries, geology and mining, and on technical cooperation,” he said.

    Nastastin added they are also discussing opportunities for the use of nuclear energy for energy, as well as for medical purposes.

    Russia is also seeking to form joint ventures in the fisheries sector, as well as in education and for ocean research.

    “On the table there are also different cooperations regarding the participation of Russian companies in developing Namibian ports into infrastructure hubs, probably through Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) initiative and the New Development bank. We are ready to be helpful and just to create the environment that is advantageous for Namibia,” he said.

    Local economist Omu Kakujaha-Matundu said while Africa at this point offers an undeniable mass of opportunities, there is now doubt an element of political influence is behind this new scramble for Africa.

    He said the current animosity between Russia and the United States is forcing Russia to cement its ties with the rest of the world.

    “After the cold war it seems Russia chickened out of Africa and the international arena a little bit and concentrated more on internal politics. Now I think they are starting to reach out to the world and are trying to recreate influence, both political and economic. And if you have want to have political influence you must also show some economic interest in the areas that you are going. So I think Russia does not want to be left out of global politics as well,” he said.

    Charles Mubita, a former SADC spokesperson and diplomat, said Africans must set their own agenda and not jump on those of other nations.

    “We cannot every now and then jump and dance to whether it is Russia, China, America or Britain’s agenda is. We cannot do that, it will not help us,” he said.

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  • 11/21/18--14:00: Black Friday frenzy
  • Black Friday frenzyBlack Friday frenzySpend your cash wisely As Black Friday specials are splashed across different media, consumers have been warned not to throw caution to the wind. ELLANIE SMIT

    As the Black Friday frenzy heats up, experts have warned consumers not to go overboard and create more debt for themselves by purchasing unneeded items, and splashing their savings on so-called specials ahead of the festive season.

    Consumer activist Milton Louw yesterday spoke out strongly against Black Friday, saying it is not a good idea.

    “This is just a way that companies are using our vulnerability against us and are just getting rid of stock before Christmas with these sales, while the consumer should actually be saving up for the December and January period.”

    He said the entire idea of Black Friday is very worrisome, as it is just another gimmick to boost sales.

    Massive specials were splashed in newspapers and social media this week, ahead of tomorrow’s Black Friday opening.

    Local stores have already prepared for long queues, spike in online shopping, as well as the inevitable customer fights.

    Since 2015, Black Friday has continued to gain traction in Namibia.

    This year Namibians seems to be going all out, as they seek to take advantage of huge discounts across the retail sector - from clothing to electrical goods. Some retailers have indicated that there Black Friday specials will end this coming Monday, while others have advertised weeklong specials.

    Bank Windhoek spokesperson Andre Le Roux said the bank encourages customers to take a long-term view of their finances and spending.

    “One should ask oneself if your intended purchases will be to your long-term benefit. Will these purchases contribute to your financial goals and will you still be able to reach them, should you decide to make impulsive buys? Spending your hard-earned money on sustainable purchases such as education or paying off debt will benefit you more in the long run than spending impulsively on unplanned and unbudgeted items,” he said.

    FNB Namibia communications manager Elzita Beukes said consumers should decide how much to spend during Black Friday.

    “Experts agree that a good rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 1.5% of your income for holiday expenses, including big-ticket items like flights and travel expenses, not just gifts,” she said.


    Arguably the most important thing you can do before Black Friday is research, in order to make sure the deal offered is actually a special.

    Firstly, don’t get distracted by low prices and flashy coupons. Secondly, double-check to see if the product is actually what you need and has the capabilities that you desire before purchasing it.

    It is also possible that the retailer only had a handful of certain items to begin with, and then directs you to a more expensive item that is of lesser quality. This is known as the bait-and-switch. Do not fall for it. If they do not have the deal you came for, it is sometimes better to leave empty-handed.

    Sometimes there is a reason why technology is being marked down so drastically. Typically, it is because the discounted price is on older models, and retailers are getting you to buy outdated technology.

    Check to see if the product is actually worth the money. Also, do not forget to find out if any upgrades are coming in the next few months.

    Instead of looking for the lowest prices, you should be looking for the greatest value. Remember, retailers are trying to distract you with numbers and flashy advertisements. Do not get tricked into buying something just because it is cheap. You will be spending money unnecessarily on items you do not need, and in the end, you will be spending even more.

    Stick to the brands that you know and trust. Do not be persuaded to buy a knock-off item just because the deal is better. It will save you money in the long run.

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  • 11/21/18--14:00: What a shame!
  • What a shame!What a shame! Linus Shashipapo Secondary School is falling apart and is in a disgusting state.

    This Kavango East school was started in 1974 and accommodates over 600 learners.

    However, the state of the infrastructure right now is appalling and is putting massive strain on teaching and learning.

    Classroom ceilings appear to be ready to collapse at any time, while there are massive cracks in the walls.

    Roofing has also blown off and remains unrepaired since 2015.

    The hostel has an unbearable smell and about 480 learners have to endure this on a daily basis, as we reported yesterday.

    Although government has promised to fix this mess by next year, the situation really highlights the shame of the rot choking learners in public schools, especially in rural areas countrywide.

    The majority of our people, especially those in the rural areas, already have to put up with an inferior education system.

    It is a ruinous state of affairs, which has spread throughout the system, including through high levels of maladministration and the downgrading of the quality of education.

    How do we really expect learners to focus on their education under such difficult conditions?

    The education authorities, as well as the department of works, have an obligation to ensure that education programmes continue uninterrupted and that learning takes place in a conducive environment free from decay, disuse and neglect.

    It is not only Linus Shashipapo Secondary School that is in dire straits.

    Many rural schools across our nation are faced with the same challenges and therefore a proactive engagement, where the needs on the ground are assessed well in advance and addressed timeously, is crucial to tackle this rot.

    There must be regular inspections and an infrastructure fund must be ring-fenced for priority upgrades.

    Rural schools equally deserve more attention and should receive the same treatment as schools in urban areas.

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  • 11/21/18--14:00: Africa news in brief
  • Africa news in briefAfrica news in brief South Africa CPI rises to 5.1%

    South Africa’s headline consumer inflation rose to 5.1% year-on-year in October, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.

    On a month-on-month basis, inflation was flat at 0.5% in October after the same rate of expansion in September.

    Core inflation, which excludes the prices of food, non-alcoholic beverages, petrol and energy, was at 4.2% year-on-year in October, also unchanged from the previous month.

    On a month-on-month basis core inflation slowed to 0.1% from 0.5% in September.


    Uganda to make new telecoms investors share infrastructure

    Uganda will force new investors in telecommunications services to rent capacity from existing fibre optic cables, rather than lay their own, to stem infrastructure duplication and lower internet access costs, the sector regulator said on Tuesday.

    The East African nation’s telecoms sector has attracted foreign investors in recent years due to rapid economic growth, a young population and general political stability.

    The requirement for infrastructure sharing is part of a new national broadband policy that seeks to boost efficiency and extend high speed internet access to the population.

    “We need infrastructure sharing, if we already have cables in an area, don’t put there another one so that we don’t duplicate these things,” Godfrey Mutabazi, CEO of regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), told Reuters.

    Exemptions will be made for investors willing to lay cables in sparsely populated rural areas to boost the spread of internet access, he said.

    Uganda has about 12 000 kilometres of fibre-optic cable laid, according to the government, and new investors will rent capacity at agreed commercial rates, Mutabazi said.

    But the laying of separate cables by different firms has resulted in high costs for erecting and maintaining the infrastructure, under-utilisation of capacity on the cables and high internet costs, Mutabazi said.

    The largest telecoms operator, MTN Uganda, a unit of South Africa’s MTN Group has a cable network that lies alongside those of Bharti Airtel, and American technology giants Google and Facebook.

    The government also operates a national broadband internet cable network developed with a Chinese loan.


    Tanzanian exchange bureaus raided

    Tanzania’s central bank conducted a surprise inspection of foreign exchange bureaus in a crackdown on black market currency trading and money laundering, it said on Tuesday.

    Soldiers and other security forces took part in Monday’s operation in the northern town of Arusha, a tourism and gemstone trading hub, so different bureaus could be inspected at once, a statement said.

    “There has been an increase in illegal foreign exchange bureaus and money laundering activities that have been conducted through foreign exchange bureaus,” central bank Governor Forens Luoga said, adding that it was a “vast and powerful network”.

    Tanzania has 110 licensed foreign currency bureaus, the bank said.

    Opposition leaders accused the government of unduly involving the military in the economy after it deployed the army earlier this month to collect the cashew nut harvests after rejecting low prices offered by private buyers.

    “I am deeply shocked by the deployment of soldiers at all foreign exchange bureaus in Arusha,” Zitto Kabwe, the leader of the opposition ACT-Wazalendo party, said on Twitter.

    “The military should only be deployed in special emergencies, such as defence of the constitution and the country’s borders,” Kabwe said.

    The central bank suspended issuance of new licenses for foreign exchange bureaus over the past three months to conduct thorough inspections of existing foreign exchange retail bureaus, Luoga said.

    “All those found to be operating illegally will have their licences revoked,” said the governor.


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  • 11/21/18--14:00: Kavango ravaged
  • Kavango ravagedKavango ravagedPrecious timber spirited to China by the shipload Unchecked logging of precious indigenous trees by Chinese syndicates is continuing unabated in the two Kavango regions. CATHERINE SASMAN

    The ongoing tree-felling in the Kavango regions is government-sanctioned and Chinese wood-loggers say they are in actual fact doing the local population a favour by helping them to develop their farmland.

    Local observers, however, have over the last number of weeks raised concern over what they view as continued and unchecked logging of precious indigenous trees by Chinese syndicates.

    A snapshot of what is happening on the ground shows that the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry allows the harvesting of particularly teak, kiaat and African rosewood, presumably to allow small-scale commercial farmers (SSCFs) in the regions to become agriculturally productive.

    By 2 November as many as 161 farmers in the Kavango East Region had applied for harvesting permits for timber and 161 permits were granted.

    Agriculture ministry permanent secretary, Percy Misika, said the permits were granted because the forest inventory was approved by the forestry authority and the number of harvesting permits were derived from a “calculated allowable cut”.

    The inventory was drawn up by the farmers and verified by forest officials.

    According to the ministry’s Rundu office, 130 logging permits were issued for a maximum of 600 trees per species. Officials at this office, who preferred anonymity, said the harvesting permits are issued every five years to ensure the sustainability of the tree species.

    These officials acknowledged that the permits were issued for protected species, but said allowable cuts were predetermined.

    An official at the ministry’s Nkurenkuru office said only two harvesting permits for Kavango East have been issued so far.

    The harvesting period, according to ministerial officials, stretch over a three-month period.

    Observers, however, claim harvesting happens all the time and that deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate.

    Grave concerns

    The land reform ministry in mid-2016 approved 99-year leaseholds for Kavango farms.

    The farmers were given permission to use the forestry resources on allocated lands to “develop” their farms, put up fencing, drill waterholes, and add livestock.

    The evidence of agricultural development is difficult to see, but this has clearly come at a price for the trees. Some locals, however, think the harvesting of trees is more sustainable than the traditional practice of burning fields to clear land.

    Others, however, say an unsustainable situation is developing because the harvesting of trees has become an alternative income for small-scale farmers, while farming is not seriously pursued.

    “All farmers run to get harvesting permits because of the weak economy and because of the closure of Meatco. They cannot market their cattle and now want to live off the trees,” one observer said.

    Forestry officials, however, do not seem concerned about deforestation.

    “What we are doing is thinning out selected trees, not clearing the forest. The natural vegetation will renew itself; that is why we issue total allowable harvests,” an official said.

    Misika said the ministry has no obligation to sell the timber on occupied farms, but has the responsibility to “regulate the appropriate use by the land occupier”.

    “The land is under the use of such a person for a 99-year leasehold. Hence, the land is treated privately-owned by the legal occupier. He/she has the right to sell such forest products, as per the market value and demand,” Misika said.

    The economics of losing out

    However, concerns are being expressed that Namibia is not getting its fair share from the harvested trees.

    As far as the agriculture ministry is concerned, its role starts with the issuance of permits and inspections - however irregular - to stop illegal or overharvesting.

    In monetary terms, the ministry gets N$100 out of this - N$60 for a harvesting permit and N$20 each, respectively, for transport and marketing permits.

    It seemingly has nothing to do with the rest of the trade in the valuable timber.

    A forestry official explained that the farmer gets an ‘investor’ - a logger - to cut the trees. The farmer and logger decide on the price at which the tree is to be sold. Typically the price ranges between N$300 and N$450, depending on the distance the tree is found from a tar road.

    Sources claim that the trees are then sold at Walvis Bay to a Chinese buyer, who pays around N$12 000 per cubic metre for the timber.

    This means that the local farmer gets between N$180 000 to N$270 000 for selling 600 trees. The Chinese ‘investor’ gets more than N$3 million for the trees.

    “Where is the relationship?” an irate local observer said. “Why does the government not see to it that the real beneficiation occurs locally?”

    Log piles

    An aerial view of the Ncaute area does not show large-scale deforestation, except for patches of fields that have been burnt to generate grasslands for cattle farming. At one spot, a truck and smaller vehicles could be seen collecting piles of timber that have clearly been cut recently.

    However, at ground level a burgeoning trade in timber - be it legal or legal - is clearly evidenced by the timber piling up along national roads and huge trucks regularly seen stacked to the hilt with logs.

    Recent evidence showed logs piled along the Mpungu/Okongo road, some allegedly found to be too small to be harvested.

    A forestry officer at Nkurenkuru, however, contested this, saying smaller cuts of wood could be of branches cut off from bigger trees.

    The requisite sizes for harvesting depends on who one speaks to. The Nkurenkuru forestry office said the allowable harvested size is 55 centimetres in diameter. The Rundu office said it is 45 centimetres.

    A Chinese logger based at Nkurenkuru, whose company harvested the trees along the Mpungu/Okongo road, was of the opinion that the allowable size for harvesting is 42 centimetres in diameter.

    But, the Chinese logger insisted, his company would not be interested in cutting small trees because it would not be profitable.

    Be that as it may, the Chinese national acknowledged that his company has harvested African rosewood, saying the remaining pile along the national road was still there due to the plummeting price of timber in China.

    This company runs a rudimentary industrial plant at Nkurenkuru where the harvested trees are being cut in blocks or planks, of which 70% to 80% are exported through Walvis Bay to China, the Chinese national acknowledged.

    The rest, he said, are being sold locally or in South Africa.

    He was also adamant that the company’s operations are legal because it has paid between N$300 and N$450 per tree to a farmer who got the requisite harvesting permit from the agricultural ministry.

    ‘Two-way’ business

    “The local farmer makes money to pay for the development of his farm. We harvest the wood, we pay him [the farmer] and he got a solar system, put up a new house and new fence. It’s a two-way business,” the Chinese national said.

    A farmer, Fillipus Shikwambi, a teacher at a Rundu primary school, agreed that it is a “two-way” business. He said he has made enough money for the new infrastructure on his farm and in the process cleared enough land for farming.

    East of Rundu in the forested area around the Mbambi village there are countless patches where timber is being harvested, presumably for small-scale farmers.

    One observer, preferring anonymity, said the harvesting takes place at least every 500 metres to one kilometre apart.

    Here, the harvesting operations take place in the bush, seemingly with sophisticated chainsaws and other heavy equipment. At one spot, large piles of usable timber scraps - beautiful and very usable in their own right - were left behind, like a timber graveyard after the choice limbs were cut off.

    Along this sandy two-track bush road many kiaat or dolf wood (uhuua in the local dialect) were completely chopped off close to their roots, but the entire tree was left behind, presumably over the drop in prices in China that dissipated interest in this tree.

    A forestry official at Rundu, however, was of the opinion that the trees were not yet collected because the loggers are “marking off their territories” while the logging is to continue on another day.

    However, the sight of the logged trees leaves others exasperated, even helpless.

    “From what I can see all of this is completely out of control; it is uncontrolled and a total waste,” an observer said.

    The forestry official at Rundu acknowledged that they cannot always go out into the field to supervise the logging, due to budget constraints; inspections that were once done at least twice a week have shrunk considerably.

    No names please

    Despite the apparent official approval for the continued harvesting, the loggers and transporters of the timber appear to keep their activities out of public view as much as possible.

    Locals claim that the timber is spirited away in the dead of night. The ‘investors’ refuse to reveal their names or the names of their companies. Truckers operating from industrial complexes at Rundu rudely scare off anyone interested in peaking over high fences, and when transporting the timber, they cover it with tarpaulin.

    And yet, according to Rundu officials, cases of overharvesting or illegal harvesting are not common. They do, however, acknowledge that while the harvesting permits are given out for a “good cause” it might have opened up a Pandora’s Box, because the outcome of all the clearing - for now at least - remains unknown.

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    Teacher’s lifeless body foundTeacher’s lifeless body found The body of a 49-year-old teacher, who went missing on Sunday morning from Ongha in Ohangwena, was discovered yesterday in the Oshikoto Region.
    Peneyambeko Hangala-Ndeunyema was a life skills teacher at Mwadinomho Combined School.
    The Ohangwena police said her body was found along the Oshivelo-Tsintsabis gravel road.
    “With the details we obtained from our investigation, we informed the Oshikoto police to assist us to search in that area, and they recovered the body. We were only investigating a missing person’s case and now Oshikoto is investigating the death and all the circumstances surrounding it,” Ohangwena police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Abner Kaume Itumba, said.
    He said earlier the police started investigating the matter although a missing person’s case was not opened.
    “A handbag containing her documents was picked at Oshikango on Tuesday and it is not yet known how it got there or who dropped it. It is currently in the possession of the police,” Itumba said.
    He said according to the family, Hangala-Ndeunyema told people she was going to Omuthiya to attend to something, without indicating exactly what she was going to do.
    “She parked her car where she usually parks it, whenever she goes somewhere, but she did not leave the key where she usually leaves it. Therefore, nobody knew which direction she took or with whom or how,” he added.

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  • 11/22/18--14:00: Learning curve
  • Learning curveLearning curveNamibia look to make amends against Portugal The Namibian senior men's rugby side are hoping to come good against Portugal tomorrow. Namibia will play their final match of an end-of-year European tour against Portugal tomorrow, after losing encounters against Russia and Spain.

    Russia beat Namibia 47-20, while Spain humbled the visitors 34-13.

    However, according to head coach Phil Davies the team had ample time to prepare for their last match and adapted well in training to the very wet conditions.

    “The past week has seen several quality training sessions in preparation for the match, focusing and prioritising on areas that can be improved from the previous game; for example, the lineouts, mauls and ball retention.

    “Several guests came into the camp in support of the players and World Rugby in particular has been a great help in Portugal,” said Davies.

    “This will again be a tough match for our young squad. However, we are going in with the mindset of looking to improve performance and to win. It has been a successful year for the national team with World Cup qualification gained in record fashion for the squad.” The head coach said six changes were made for tomorrow's match.

    “Cliven Loubser and PW Steenkamp are fit so they come back for the match; we are looking at a different lock and back-three combination with young Adriaan Ludik pairing with experienced lock Tjiuee Uanivi. We have also selected young Chad Plato to play in a new back-three combination with the more experienced Chrysander Botha and Johann Tromp.

    “It has been a good tour and one that has challenged the players both on and off the field. I also hope it was an enjoyable one for all; it has certainly provided us with increased knowledge of how people react to different conditions and the circumstances of day-to-day touring pressures.

    “This will be invaluable as we build for the World Cup in Japan in 2019; it has certainly challenged everyone and created an understanding of rugby in the northern hemisphere and how physical and quick the game is in this part of the world,” Davies added.

    He said he was satisfied with the discipline and manner in which the players adapted to the playing philosophy.

    “The country should be proud of the team's efforts on this tour, as the squad is certainly growing.”

    Davies explained the selection criteria for the squad, saying it was based on the tour aims, which are to build outstanding young players, re-establish the playing philosophy, and be competitive in every test played, as well as offer game time to every player.

    He added that Johnny Lacey, a tier 1 referee, was present at their training sessions and was helpful with refereeing sessions, along with law education sessions, to help grow the players' knowledge of trends leading up to the 2019 World Cup. In addition Calvin Morris, a World Rugby member of staff, offered support to the strength and conditioning team, as well as the medical staff, and also assisted Namibia with its World Cup programme planning.

    Morris was an England member of staff when they won the World Cup in 2003 and more recently for British cycling at the Rio Olympics. His knowledge of planning and preparation for world-class tournaments is immense and extremely valuable. The team also met John Hooper, who is the kit sponsor.

    The Namibian team is as follows:

    Casper Viviers, Obert Nortje, AJ de Klerk, Adriaan Ludick, Tjiuee Uanivi, Thomasau Forbes, Max Katjijeko, Rohan Kitshoff (vice-captain), Damian Stevens, Cliven Loubser, Johann Tromp, Darryl de la Harpe (captain), JC Greyling, Chad Plato and Chrysander Botha.

    The replacements are Niel van Vuuren, Andre Rademeyer, Desiderius Sethie, Ruan Ludick, Cameron Langenhoven, TC Kisting, PW Steenkamp and Justin Newman.

    The standby replacements are Janry du Toit, Henrique Olivier, Jason Benade and Wihan Von Wielligh.

    The match will kick off at 17:00 Namibian time.


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  • 11/22/18--14:00: Football feast
  • Football feastFootball feastBlack Stars to test Warriors A carnival atmosphere is expected at the Sam Nujoma Stadium tomorrow where the Brave Warriors will be eager to impress the head of state by retaining the Dr Hage Geingob Cup. The stage is set for the Brave Warriors and the Blacks Stars of Ghana to battle it out for laurels, as they face each in the Dr Hage Geingob Cup tomorrow at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 16:00.

    The Brave Warriors go into the match following a goalless draw against Guinea-Bissau in their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier last Saturday.

    Coach Riccardo Mannetti will use his locally-based players, given that the Ghana match is not on the Fifa calendar.

    The clash will thus give the Brave Warriors coach an opportunity to fully exploit his local players.

    Mannetti said the players are fired up and raring to give the home fans something to cheer about.

    The first 5 000 supporters will receive various souvenirs such as caps, T-shirts and other hampers, courtesy of the event organisers and sponsors, MTC, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), Huawei, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) and Air Namibia.

    Tickets can be bought beforehand for N$30 each from Webtickets Namibia at all Pick n Pay stores countrywide and at Football House in Katutura.

    There will be a 'kick and win' competition involving former goalkeepers versus the fans.

    Top local musicians will entertain the crowd before the match, as well as during halftime; and after the match artists such as Gazza, Exit, Female Donkey, Tequila, Tate Buti and The Dogg will rock the venue.

    The curtain-raiser will start at 12:30, when the Young Gladiators face their seniors, the under-23s, before the main match kicks off at 16:00.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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  • 11/22/18--14:00: Simon Jr promises KO
  • Simon Jr promises KOSimon Jr promises KOFather and son take centre stage Harry Simon Jr has promised his fans he will put Zimbabwe's Meshack Kondwani to bed early when they clash tomorrow night. Harry Simon Jr, who is on the same fight card as his father - undefeated former world champion Harry 'Terminator' Simon - for the Second Change boxing tourney tomorrow at the Ramatex complex, says he plans to make easy work of his Zimbabwean opponent.

    The tourney is hosted by HS Onkugo Promotions, and Simon Jr says he will use Meshack Kondwani as a stepping stone.

    “I will end the fight early. I know he is a veteran but I have a job to do,” Simon Jr said. He said that fighting with his dad on the same card is a dream come true for him.

    “I thank the almighty God for blessing us with this gift. This has never happened in boxing before.

    “What makes it more interesting is the fact that my dad and I are both undefeated in our respective careers and people will talk about this boxing card for years to come,” added Simon Jr.

    The 21-year-old boxer has so far had six fights, with four of his wins coming via knockout.

    His opponent is 44 years old and has 40 fights under his belt, with 20 wins and 20 losses.

    Simon Sr has fought 30 undefeated fights, with his opponent Kaminja Shabani from Tanzania having fought 21 fights, while registering 12 wins, eight losses and one draw.

    The much-anticipated boxing card will also feature Vikapita Merero, who will face Mussa Ajibu from Swaziland.

    Merero has fought 35 times, recording 28 wins and seven losses, whereas his opponent has 44 fights under his belt, with 28 wins, 11 losses and five draws.

    Other fights on the card:

    Featherweight (four rounds) - Teofilus Nashilongo vs Paulus Aileka (both Namibian)

    Super lightweight (four rounds) - Sacky Amutjaa vs Rafael Iita (both Namibian)

    Bantamweight (four rounds) - Samuel Nangolo vs Salatiel Moses (both Namibian)

    Lightweight (four rounds) - Paulus Amavila vs Immanuel Jason (both Namibian)

    Super welterweight (four rounds) - Hedison 'Bulelo' Nghipondoka vs Ndadi Shapwa (both Namibian)

    Super lightweight - Albino 'Danny Boy' Felesianu (Namibia) vs Limbani Chipaka (Malawi).

    General tickets cost N$100, while VIP tickets are selling for N$300. Tickets are available at Computicket at Shoprite/Checkers stores countrywide.

    Gates will open at 16:00, with the first fight starting at 18:00.

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    Eat more for less on Black FridayEat more for less on Black Friday Check out the awesome deals that Panarottis Maerua Mall has… for today only.

    Retail stores are not the only ones offering deals on Black Friday. Restaurant managers all over are also looking to cash in on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Italian franchise Panarottis Windhoek has made it their mission to ensure that their customers are taken care of as they run around Maerua Mall today while shopping. Twenty-five lucky Panarottis patrons will stand a chance to win a movie ticket through a draw. Manager Wynand Rootman says they will also be having a promotion on their large pizzas that will be sold at the price of the standard and the customers will get a free top up on each monster pizza ordered.

    “There will be a random draw where every table number will be put in a hat and every two hours we will pull out a number and each person at the table called out will get a movie ticket. We will also have flash sales in store. This is just to keep our customers happy,” he said.

    The sales and promotions are just for today and for in-store customers. The restaurant is currently running a call and pick up promotion where customers can order two standard pizzas for N$159.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Talibaaza Fest  to raise funds for an arts centreTalibaaza Fest to raise funds for an arts centreA movement for creatives by creatives Find out how Talibaaza Fest will benefit northern-based Namibian artists. F.U. Trending World is a local entertainment company that specialises in creating platforms for the creative industry. Owned by arts enthusiast Frans Ugwanga, the organisation will be hosting its first event Talibaaza Fest, on 14 and 15 December at the Oshakati Independence Stadium. Talibaaza is a slang word from Oshakati, which means 'all is well'.

    The festival is designed to enrich creatives by creating a platform for them to sell and showcase their products and

    services. In addition, the festival will be for business development and to promote entrepreneurial skills within the creative industry.

    “Apart from creating a platform to enrich creatives, we will raise funds to establish and construct an arts centre in Oshakati that will have a recording studio, video production, a technology lab, an art gallery and conference rooms to host major national events. This will boost the northern economy through tourism,” said Ugwanga.

    In addition, the festival will be used as business a development platform and encourage entrepreneurs within the creative field. Since this is a platform to enrich and empower creatives, Ugwanga says the festival will host workshops for art entrepreneurs. The festival will also see exhibitors sell and showcase their products and services during the two-day event.

    From 21:00 until late, on both days, there will be musical performances by Namibia's top artists including Top Cheri. Tickets are available for N$20 at Webtickets in Pick n Pay stores countrywide and N$30 at the gate.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 11/22/18--14:00: Auntie Nangy
  • Auntie NangyAuntie Nangy Confused

    Dear Auntie Nangy, I am in love with a guy who I dated for about a month now. He told me that he has a girlfriend before we started dating. I love him very much but it seems like he is no longer interested. Luckily we did not have sex yet but I was planning to do that though. Should I let him know about my feelings or what should I do? I'm confused. Please help

    It sounds like he is just not that into you. If he is not running after you then he doesn't want you. Do not beg for a man, it is sign of weakness and you are opening yourself up to abuse and heartache. This man can see that you are desperate and will only use you for sex and then he dumps you again. There are certainly other fish in the sea.

    Scared of love

    Dear Auntie Nangy, I am an 18-year-old boy and I have a problem. I have proposed a girl who is also 18 and she said no. What can I do so that she says yes?

    No, means no. Do not force yourself on a woman, it is unacceptable and wrong. Leave her and move on. Find yourself another girl who is attracted to you.

    Books and boys

    Dear Auntie Nangy

    Im a girl, 17, and I have a problem. When I am studying I always think about my boyfriend… is it fine like that Auntie?

    Yes, my girl you have a serious boyfriend. You need to get that boyfriend out of your head as soon as possible otherwise you will fail and become a prostitute. And you are 17 for goodness sakes - you are not supposed to cry over boys at this age. The world is your oyster why do you want to blur your view with a man?

    Young or not

    Dear Auntie Nangy

    I am 17 and I want to ask if it's wrong if I am to date a 21-year-old guy.

    Child, you are a child. Stay away from grown men. This world is full of trauma and you want to add on to it? That man will not be a boyfriend - he will be your sugar daddy. You must be playing with dolls while he is no longer playing. Is that what you want? Don't you want to have fun with a guy your age, who takes you for ice-cream and whose first time is also your first time? Why do you opt for other people's left overs?

    Baby mamma

    Dear Auntie Nangy, I am a 19-year-old girl and I have my boyfriend who is always telling me that he wantx a baby with me but am not ready to be a mother. What can I do?

    They say these days babies get babies. Do you want to be a baby while you are still your mother's baby? I do not think so. Did this man even test himself for HIV? Do you want to get sick and bring a sick baby into the world? And guess what? That man will run far away and leave you to fend for yourself and your child. Is this what you want for your life?

    Still young

    Dear Auntie Nangy

    I met a guy from our village that am dating with now. I love him and he loves me too but I'm losing hope. He said that he wants to have sex with me to produce a baby but I said no, I am still young. What can I do now?

    Leave that man in the village because his head is in the village. Girls are no longer supposed to play like baby-making machines. Girls must run the world; we must become presidents and leaders and have children when we want to, when we can afford to and when we have to.

    Love is a problem

    Dear Auntie Nangy, I am 19 years old. I am dating a guy of 21. He loves me and I love him too but the problem is this: when he sees me he cries… I don't know what is wrong with him… please help me.

    That right there is a sign of a weak man. Do you want a cry baby around you for the rest of your life? If he is crying now what will he do when you have children? Do you want the father to cry when his children cry? No, you do not want that. So get rid of him.

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  • 11/22/18--14:00: Chasing the dough
  • Chasing the doughChasing the doughMy Ni*ger Get Rich on his fashion sense and latest album tjil caught up with Njambi Paulus to talk about his unique lifestyle. There is currently no one personifying the 90s style better than My Ni*ger Get Rich in Namibia. One would swear that the so-called musician just woke up. The rapper rose to fame when social media caught his rather strange fashion sense that consists of baggy clothing, a gigantic shoes fetish and five gold chains around the neck. Hailing from Grootfontein, his 31-year-old revealed to tjil that he has a fulltime job at OK Foods, a supervisor for the bakery department.

    “Many people don't know this about me but music is part-time. I order my clothes and shoes from Thailand; you won't find them in Namibia. My style is influenced by 50 Cent and Ja Rule, since I was a boy. My shoe size is five but I wear size eight. My pants are extra-large; I can never wear my size which is small. I am just hooked I guess,” he said.

    The rapper released his first album titled True Story in 2016 on which his song Get Rich Get Money went viral. The rapper made his second album which is soon to be released on which he remixed the song due to popular demand. The latest album titled My Life will drop before the festive season and will be available countrywide. The rapper also featured Kalux and will drop a music video with the album. Commenting on his relationship status, My Ni*ger Get Rich says women complicate life and he will only start looking for a wife when he becomes rich.


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